Television And Radio Programs:
Changed Attitudes And Community Participation In Cotabato, Philippines
Mary Jane V. Jorolan, M.S.
Southern Christian College, Mindanao, Philippines
Television and radio programs were found to be facilitative of changed attitudes, awareness, and participation in community activities among viewers of the television program, Kapihan sa Kalinaw (Coffee for Peace) and listeners of the radio program, Paaralanang Pangkapayapaan (School for Peace), which were advocacy produced by the Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato, Philippines. The programs were conceptualized due to the long-running conflict in Mindanao. Evaluated were effects on viewer and listener awareness, attitude, and subsequent participation in peace efforts. In partner villages of the Southern Christian College, data collection occurred with 171 males and 250 female viewers of Kapihan sa Kalinaw as well as 409 males and 393 female-listeners of Paaralang Pangkapayapaan. The research findings indicated the programs served the people in the community and neighboring communities by giving them information on prevalent and vital issues related to peace and development. Kapihan sa Kalinaw influenced viewers’ lives in terms of awareness, attitude and participation. On the other hand, the radio program gave knowledge of and insights on included topics.
The Philippines comprise 7,100 islands divided into three main groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Mindanao is its second largest island. It is the only region in the country that has a mixed population with rich cultural heritages, including the Lumad (Indigenous People), Moro (Muslim), and Christian settlers (Neyra, 2005). Mindanao, the “land of promise” earned its place in the history of the Philippines due to the abundance of its natural resources. It became a target for land speculators and settlers from the northern part of the Philippines who search for investments or space. For example, many Christians migrated from other parts of the country and settled alongside with the island’s local residents, the Lumad and the Moro peoples. Thus, the tri-people character of Mindanao resulted (Senturias, 2002).
Mindanao is seen by many Filipinos and foreigners as a frontier – a dangerous place, but also a land of promise. It evokes contrasting images of bounty and want, of war and peace, of rapid development amid the increasing impoverishment of its people. Mindanao’s convoluted situation, which can be traced from historical injustice and political and economic greed have contributed numerous circumstances such as unstable peace and order, unpredictable and unforeseen natural calamities, declining human capital, displacements and deaths, rebellion and human insecurity, food insecurity, and widespread poverty (Neyra, 2008).
The Province of Cotabato lies in the central part of Mindanao with a total population of 958,643 comprising 188,581 households with an average household size of 5.07 persons (Socio-Economic Profile, 2001). People communicate using five different dialects in the province, aside from English and Tagalog, which are the official languages of the country. The later is the national language, although English is widely used as medium of instruction in higher education. News, announcements, events, activities, and other public services are relayed through mass communication using newspapers, television, or radio in English or Tagalog. These media are means to amplify the cultural heritage of the people for the purpose of appreciation, awareness building, and understanding.
With the long-running conflict in Mindanao, particularly in the province of Cotabato, Southern Christian College (SCC), a United Church of Christ in the Philippines-related institution, in Midsayap, Cotabato, believed that methods of peace should be shared with as many people as possible through radio and television. SCC advocated peace and development among its constituents and communities in the provinces of Cotabato, the Central Mindanao Region, and the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.SCC envisioned itself as a premier community-serving university and a catalyst for social transformation through education grounded on faith, service, and character. It was committed to the building of a caring and sharing society that: loves God; respects the Mindanao heritage; advocates justice, freedom and peace; and promotes sustainable agro-industrial development towards a balanced ecology that is contextualized, liberating, empowering, and relevant; that is faith-rooted and responsive to the needs of the people; where people are subjects of education with a process requiring moral, ethical and analytical thinking, that contributes to the national development and the stewardship of God’s creation and resources. It welcomed students of all faith perspectives and supported the aims and goals of ecumenical and inter-faith movements.
Community service was a long tradition of SCC and its forefront for 59 years. It was concretized through the institution’s vision to build a caring and sharing community where a culture of peace and an improved quality of life is a reality. SCC believed that peace and development could occur, even in a context such as Mindanao that had widespread indifference and apathy. SCC found opportunities to serve people in six partner villages. Each village was served by SCC through an education extension program of the Community Education, Research and Extension Administration Division (CEREA), through livelihood, literacy, agriculture, entrepreneurial, theater and arts, and media programs. Topics also included peace-building initiatives, conflict resolution, and ancestral domain claims with a dialogical method of engagement.
CEREA was created to afford services to the communities, and it served as an extension arm of SCC in strengthening foundations of peace and development. CEREA envisioned the creation of a responsible society where individuals, organizations, and communities are free and empowered in advancing their legitimate aspirations, values and dignity; are aware and concerned of their economic well-being, socio-cultural and environmental heritage; and are active participants in accelerating development. CEREA was committed as a vehicle for interactions among government, academe, development institutions, industry, church and the tri-people in the pursuit of knowledge and development. Its goal was to provide relevant experiences, responsive programs and functional services to meet the competencies of individuals, organizations, sectors and communities in the improvement of the quality of life. The programs of CEREA were implemented by its departments: the Community Extension and Education Department, the Research and Development Department, the Institute for Peace and Development Studies, the Institute for Global Education and International Relations, the Farm Learning Resource, Technical Vocational Education, Auxiliary and Production, and the Center for Media and the Arts. With a concept of borderless education, for the maximum number of people in the community to be served, CEREA linked people through broadcast media.
Using the radio and television, SCC strove to inform members of the community on vital issues, whether religious, social, economic, political, and educational, to provide a venue for public opinions, sentiments and ideas; to give updates on the life and works of SCC in the community; to link with the local government unit with whatever plans they had; to make known the problems of the masses/people to authorities by voicing their perspectives; as well as to help in government campaigns, drives and celebrations by eliciting support of the viewing public.
SCC conceptualized the Kapihan sa Kalinaw (Coffee for peace), which was a television program aired over local cable television network every Friday at 6:30 in the evening, and a local radio program called Paaralang pangkapayapaan (School for Peace) that aired every Saturday morning at 7:30 to 8:00 and 6:00 to 7:00 every Sunday morning. Driven by the need to have a regular forum for the ventilation of issues that affect the people of Midsayap, Kapihan sa Kalinaw (KSK) began. The main objective of KSK was to serve as one of SCC’s venues for peace and development work. Kapihan was a name pertaining to a context where people meet and talk about something while drinking coffee, while kalinaw is the Cebuano word for peace. True to its name, KSK served as a setting where people of Midsayap and neighboring municipalities met to discuss issues that affected their lives. It included issues on peace and development, socio-economics, environment and ecology, women, health and nutrition, governance, theater and arts, agriculture, religion, education, and culture. KSK was a joint project of SCC and the Rotary Club of Midsayap.
Paaralang Pangkapayapaan (PP), on the other hand, was an advocacy program aired over a local radio station covering five provinces in Mindanao. The radio program reached various people from all sectors of society beyond the portals of SCC. Program participants discussed issues prevalent in the community and related them to peace and development.
The Director of the Center for Media and Arts of SCC hosted the programs with Indigenous People, Moro, and Migrants as guests who were conversant on the conflicts presented. Issues were discussed from the perspective of the multiple perspectives of the guests using English and Tagalog languages.
Both programs were funded by the Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED), a Church Development Service of the Protestant Churches in Germany. The Research Director of the SCC evaluated both programs, while she was the proponent of this study, that was also funded by EED.
After five years of operation of each program, the participant researcher conducted an evaluation of the Kapihan sa Kalinaw to determine how the program transformed the lives of the viewers in terms of awareness, attitude, and participation. Measurement occurred through survey with a Likert scale of one to four for responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Paaralang Pangkapayapaan was also evaluated to gather information on the knowledge and insights of the listeners.
This study summarizes results of the evaluation of the
two programs on media as instruments of learning and understanding prevalent
issues in the community.
A descriptive survey method was employed using the respondents of the Kapihan sa Kalinaw evaluation who were all subscribers of the Midsayap local cable television station, and 50 respondents from each partner village of SCC for the Paaralang Pangkapayapaan. These 50 respondents from each partner village were considered to be representative of the program’s listening public, which included the Indigenous People, Moro, and Migrants. Convenience and quota sampling were employed to arrive at the target number of samples per area of 50 participants. Training and orientation of enumerators were done to be able to obtain quality data. Permission from the village (barangay) captain of each area was obtained to avoid future problems and to ensure security of the enumerators. Community preparation was done by the Extension Coordinator of CEREA. The faculty and staff of SCC were also part of the survey and they were randomly selected.
The researcher, this author, constructed the questionnaires herself. To measure the effect of Kapihan sa Kalinaw, she created categories of awareness, attitude, and participation and used a Likert scale for respondent indication of the degree of agreement or disagreement on each item. Construction of each item was done with judges to rate each one on its applicability for each category. An inter-rater reliability coefficient was derived using kappa statistics (k=0.65) and factor analysis was done for the construct validity. Each item had a coefficient of not less than 0.86. Awareness, attitude, and participation of the viewer-respondents were not measured prior to the gathering of data, which were considered by the researcher as the weakness of this study. The variables were measured only once after the five-year duration of the intervention.
The researcher also constructed the questionnaire of the Paaralang Pangkapayapaan survey, that was pilot tested with the faculty and staff of SCC who were also listeners of the radio program. Results were consolidated and analyzed, and revisions were done for fit to the purpose of the study. Items were written in the English language with Tagalog translations along. Enumerators were oriented for their guidance of respondents in answering every item of the survey.
Results and Discussion
The following tables present the research data for the
opportunity of reader analysis.
Kapihan sa Kalinaw
Table 1. Gender Distribution of the Viewer- Respondents.
Table 1 shows that there were 421 viewers of the KSK program who were survey respondents, of which 171 (40.62%) were males and 250 (59.38%) females.
Table 2. Social Affiliation Distribution of the Viewer- Respondents.
*Migrants’ sub groups 1Moro 2Indigenous
Table 2 shows that about 47.03% of the viewer-respondents were Migrants or Christians, whose subgroups were Cebuano, Ilonggo, and Ilocano. There were 30.17% Maguindanaon (Moro) viewer-respondents and 22.80% were Manobo (Indigenous People).
Table 3. Occupation of the Respondent-Viewers.
|Government Agency and Institution Employee||126||29.93|
|Private Agency and Institution Employee||1022||24.23|
Government agency and institution employees and people from private agencies were the majority of survey participants. The respondents indicated that the forum gave them awareness of situations in the community. It gave them information and understanding of the root-cause of many problems that the community was facing. Through the forum, they gained awareness of the cultures of Bangsamoro, Indigenous people, and Migrants, and that struggles for peace should be non violent and involve democracy. It increased knowledge of processes in attaining peace and development as well as duties and obligations in the community.
Table 4 shows the complete data on the agreement of the respondents’ perception on the effect of the TV and Radio programs in terms of awareness.
Table 4. Degree of Agreement of Respondents’ Perception on the Effect of the TV Program in Terms of Awareness
|(n= 421)||Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Agree||Strongly
|The forum made me:||f||%||f||%||f||%||f||%|
|1.||aware of the situations of the community||5||1.19||62||14.73||274||65.08||57||13.54|
|2.||understand of the root-cause of the many problems the community is facing.||8||1.90||46||10.93||267||63.42||79||18.76|
|3.||knowledgeable on the problems of the constituents of the community.||8||1.90||49||11.64||296||70.31||54||12.83|
|4.||understand the culture of the Bangsamoro.||12||2.85||57||13.54||294||69.83||42||9.98|
|5.||understand the culture of the Lumads.||6||1.43||50||11.88||290||68.88||52||12.35|
|6.||understand the culture of the Christian Settlers.||9||2.14||57||13.54||272||64.61||58||13.78|
|7.||optimistic that Midsayap will soon be one of the most developed communities in Mindanao.||9||2.14||45||10.69||284||67.46||54||12.83|
|8.||understand that the struggle for peace should be nonviolent and democratic.||13||3.09||60||14.25||283||67.22||43||10.21|
|9.||knowledgeable on the processes in attaining peace and development.||8||1.90||53||12.59||286||67.93||48||11.40|
|10.||understand the culture of other social groups.||8||1.90||61||14.49||283||67.22||42||9.98|
|11.||cognizant of my duties and obligations in the community.||9||2.14||37||8.79||271||64.37||72||17.10|
The findings indicated that the TV program changed attitudes of its viewers. Attitude here refers to how constituents in the community responded to the needs and calls of the community. Viewer-respondents avowed that the forum taught them to appreciate the culture of others and the efforts of the government and non-government entities to attain peace and development. It taught them about other cultural groups and efforts of the government offices and organizations, and non-government leaders in the community in their work different cultures of the community residents and the less fortunate. It made them concerned with the needs of society and with the people who were victims of war. It helped them value the efforts of those who share their time and resources in favor of the less fortunate, including victims of war.
Table 5 shows the data on the agreement of the respondents’ perception on the effect of the forum in terms of attitude.
Table 5. Degree of Agreement of Respondents’ Perception on the Effect of the TV Program in Terms of Attitude.
|(n= 421)||Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Agree||Strongly Agree|
|The forum taught me:||f||%||f||%||f||%||f||%|
|1.||to appreciate the efforts of the government to obtain peace and development.||9||2.14||40||9.50||279||66.27||81||19.24|
|2.||to appreciate the culture of others.||7||1.66||27||6.41||285||67.70||87||20.67|
|3.||to be concerned with the needs of society.||6||1.43||29||6.89||294||69.83||82||19.48|
|4.||to value the heritage of other cultural groups.||8||1.90||36||8.55||290||68.88||75||17.81|
|5.||to value the efforts of the government leaders in the community in their struggle towards understanding the different cultures of the community residents.||6||1.43||41||9.74||293||69.60||67||15.91|
|6.||to value the efforts of nongovernment organization leaders in their struggle towards understanding the different cultures of the community residents.||10||2.38||40||9.50||294||69.83||63||14.96|
|7.||to value the efforts of government organization leaders in educating the less fortunate.||12||2.85||35||8.31||290||68.88||71||16.86|
|8.||to value the efforts of nongovernment leaders in educating the less fortunate.||8||1.90||40||9.50||290||68.88||72||17.10|
|9.||me to value the efforts of the people in campaigning against war.||13||3.09||30||7.13||282||66.98||79||18.76|
|10.||The forum taught me to be concerned with the people who are victims of war.||10||2.38||24||5.70||283||67.22||88||20.90|
|11.||to appreciate the efforts of those who share their time and resources in favor of the less fortunate and victims of war.||8||1.90||28||6.65||283||67.22||88||20.90|
The forum encouraged participation in community activities, such as: the information dissemination campaigns of government and nongovernmental agencies; helping members of the community in times of disaster; and helping government and non governmental agencies attain peace and development of the community in particular, and of the country as a whole.
Table 6 shows the complete data on the perception of the respondents of the forum’s effects in terms of participation.
Table 6. Degree of Agreement of Respondents’ Perception on the Effect of the TV Program in Terms of Participation.
|(n= 421)||Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Agree||Strongly Agree|
|1.||encouraged me to participate in community activities.||14||3.33||62||14.73||274||65.08||57||13.54|
|2.||encouraged me to help the government attain peace and development.||13||3.09||46||10.93||267||63.42||79||18.76|
|3.||challenged me to be part of the development of the community in particular and of the country as a whole.||7||1.66||49||11.64||296||70.31||54||12.83|
|4.||prompted me to share my time and resources in the peace effort.||11||2.61||57||13.54||294||39.83||42||9.98|
|5.||made me participate in the information dissemination campaign of government agencies to the constituents in the community.||8||1.90||50||11.88||290||68.88||52||12.35|
|6.||made me participate in the information dissemination campaign of nongovernmental agencies to the constituents in the community.||12||2.85||57||13.54||275||65.32||58||13.78|
|7.||made me participate in the peace effort of government agencies.||8||1.90||45||10.69||275||67.46||54||12.83|
|8.||made me participate in the peace effort of nongovernment agencies.||8||1.90||60||14.25||284||67.46||43||10.21|
|9.||made me participate in the development effort of the government agencies.||9||2.14||53||12.59||287||67.17||48||11.40|
|10.||made me participate in the development effort of nongovernment agencies.||8||1.90||61||14.49||283||67.22||42||9.98|
|11.||made me participate in helping members of the community in time of disasters.||9||2.14||37||8.79||272||64.60||72||17.10|
Kapihan sa Kalinaw forum therefore, through the local cable-television, informed the community on vital issues and influenced their lives in terms of awareness, attitude, and participation. They became aware of the situation of the community and the root cause of the problems their community was facing. The forum also helped them understand the culture of the tri-people. Their attitude was also evident: they appreciated and valued efforts of the government and non-government agencies, and they expressed concern about the needs of others. The awareness and attitudes they had associated with their participation in community activities. It may also be that some viewers of the KSK forum helped disseminate to or discuss with others the issues about which they heard in the forum.
There were 805 participants of the survey from the partner villages of SCC.
Table 7. Gender of the Radio Program Respondents.
Table 7 shows gender distribution was fairly balanced.
Table 8. Social Affiliation of the Radio Program Respondents.
|Social Affiliation (n=805)||f||%|
*Migrants’ subgroups 1Moro 2 Indigenous People
Table 8 shows that the majority 70.81% Migrant respondents were composed of six different social groups.
Table 9. Occupation of the Radio Program Respondents.
|Occupation (n = 805)||n||%|
|Government Agency and Institution Employee||102||12.67|
|Private Agency and Institution Employee||75||9.32|
The occupations of the respondents of the radio program were predominately housekeepers and farmers. The study found out that only 25.84% of the respondents heard the radio program. Through inquiry about reasons for not listening to the radio program, 22.61% said that they worked in their farm early in the morning so they could not listen to the program during the airing time, 14.41% of them said that they listened to other radio stations, 10.89% were not aware of the radio program, 3.85% said that the program is aired too early in the morning, 2.51% of the respondents admitted that they were not interested, and 1.51% said that signal of the radio station did reach their area.
Figure 1 shows the graph of the respondents’ reasons for not listening to the radio program.
Figure 1. Respondents’ Reasons for Not Listening to Radio Program.
Of the 25.84% of the respondents who declared that they listened to the program, identified topics that were interesting to them. The list of the topics that interested the survey participants is shown in Table 10.
Table 10. Interesting Topics of the Radio Program.
|Peace and Development||97||43.63|
|Environment & Ecology||53||25.48|
|Health and Nutrition||47||22.60|
|History of Mindanao||40||19.23|
|Theater and Arts||25||12.02|
Listeners to the program shared some awareness and insights they developed. They avowed that through the program they learned:
- New farming technology and practices;
- Women’s rights;
- Zero waste management;
- Effects of chemical farming;
- An understanding of the Indigenous Peoples Rights;
- Family health;
- Organic farming;
- Mindanao history
- Different cultures;
- Understanding of different religions;
- Information on peace and development;
- They have part on peace and development;
- Different perspectives in life;
- That development is the result of peace and justice;
- Understanding of the tri-people problems;
- Essence of living harmoniously with other under one God;
- Essentials of agriculture practices;
- Tips on livelihood;
- Need to plant more trees to prevent flooding; and
- The present situation.
While 85.58% of the listening-respondents acknowledged that the topics discussed were relevant to the present needs, 78.85% of them declared that the radio program served the community where the people could air their dreams, hopes, and aspirations for the future. Finally, 78.37% acknowledged that the program served as a means for advocacy work with government and non-governmental organizations in advancing public policies.
Limitations. The findings of this research are limited due to design constraints and the relationship of the researcher as a sponsor of the interventions and a recipient of the funding that supported them.
Summary and Conclusion
This paper summarized the results of the evaluation of the Kapihan sa Kalinaw - a television program, and Paaralang Pangkapayan – a radio program of Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato, Philippines. These programs were conceptualized to serve as a means to inform members of the community on vital and prevalent issues.
After five years of operation of each program, Kapihan sa Kalinaw was evaluated to determine how the program transformed the lives of the viewers in terms of awareness, attitude, and participation. Paaralang Pangkapayapaan was also evaluated to gather information about how it influenced the knowledge and insights of its listeners.
Findings indicated that the television program increased awareness of community situations including the root-cause of many problems that the community faced. Survey responses showed increased awareness of the need for participation in peace and development activities (e.g. relief distribution, literacy instruction, tree-planting). It also affected respondents’ attitudes towards the efforts of organizations that worked for peace and community development. Additionally, respondents showed concern for the needs of the people of the community. Findings also indicated that the radio program, Paaralang Pangkapayapaan, gave its listeners knowledge about the different topics that it included.
In conclusion, television and radio programs served the people around Midsayap, Cotabato by giving them information on vital and prevalent issues in the community, and to some extent, they were able to relate it to peace and development. These programs also served as means for advocacy of government and non-governmental organizations in the advancement of public policies.
In recognition that both programs were instrumental towards learning about and understanding of vital and prevalent issues by the constituents in the province of Cotabato in the Philippines, it is recommended that the programs be given continued support. With that, the programs could expand their coverage as suggested by some of the respondents. Program administrators should initiate activities that could be integrated into the program to encourage viewers and listeners to participate in community activities. It is further recommended that future studies examine how viewers and listeners apply their learning about and understanding of vital and prevalent issues in the community, and how that affects peace and development in their locality.
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